Norwegian ISPs Refuse MPAA’s Request to Disconnect Pirates

After being blown off by the Norwegian police, MPAA lawyer Espen Tondel is now demanding that ISPs disconnect Norwegian file-sharers from the Internet. According to IKT Norway, an interest group for ISPs, the lawyer has sent a letter to Norwegian ISPs on behalf of The Norwegian branch of the MPAA.

In the letter, Tondel asks the ISPs to notify customers who share copyrighted content, and threaten to disconnect them from the internet. Tondel also attached a document that supposedly links the IP-addresses of seeders to copyrighted works.

It seems that Norway is not alone in this, Jim Williams, the MPAA’s senior vice president opted for a similar disconnection policy in the US yesterday. IKT Norway is not too happy about the letter though.

“In a constitutional state, the police and the prosecuting authority have the job of investigating and indicting, not lawyers and communication engineers”, says Hallstein Bjercke from IKT Norway, in a press release.

“Most of the big ISPs in Norway are members of IKT Norway and we will support the various ISPs as best we can against what we see as a preposterous demand from Simonsen”, Bjercke adds.

He asks the ISPs to contact IKT Norway instead of answering the law firm’s letter. “In our opinion, Tondel asks the ISPs to assist them in their private investigation on filesharers. Tondel’s law firm asks the ISPs to use personal information about their customers in a way that would be a breach on the Norwegian laws on personal information and personal privacy, in addition to breaching the contract between individual customers and their respective ISP.”

“What Simonsen is actually asking for is confessions from the alleged filesharers, which can be used against them if Simonsen decides to sue”, Bjercke said.

IKT Norway makes it clear that the Norwegian ISPs will not take the role of investigator and judge against their own customers. “To give that kind of responsibility to the ISPs is like asking the mailman to control the contents of every letter and package he delivers,” Bjercke says.

IKT Norway is now checking into the legality of the law firms private investigation and the legality of connecting personal information to the customers of Norwegian ISPs.

(translation by Stian Andreassen)

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